Wrestling With History: ECW Barely Legal with John Finegan
9 months ago.
Updated 9 months ago.
On the debut episode of Wrestling With History, former ECW Senior Official John Finegan and I get in the time machine and go back to April 13, 1997, the night ECW debuted on Pay Per View with "Barely Legal." We talk about how the PPV had been some time in the maming, and some of the setbacks that temporarily derailed. it. We go over the "Mass Transit" incident with Erich Kulas and New Jack, and talk about how that hurt ECW's PPV chances. We cover ECW's appearances on WWE TV leading up to and promoting Barely Legal, including ECW matches live on Raw from The Manhatten Centre.
We talk about the dark match that opened up the evening, involving Balls Mahoney and Louie Spicolli, and John's feelings on Louie. We get into who John's favorite Dudleys were, and the worst bump he's ever taken, while he go through the ECW World Tag Team Title match between The Eliminators (Perry Saturn & John Kronus,) and The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley.) John recalls Chris Candido and Sunny's involvements at the PPV, as we discuss the injury that prevented him from competing that night. We also talk about Candido's replacement in the ring that evening, Rob Van Dam, and his very real bitter feelings that came through in a post match promo, following his victory over Lance Storm. During that match, Storm delivered what could be called "soft" chairshots, much to the derision of the ECW Arena crowd, and John and I discuss the differences between then and now when it comes to shots to the head and concussions. The Michinoku Pro 6 man tag team match is talked about, as John and I talk about whether or not that time could've been spent better on full time ECW talents. We also go over the pre show "Paul Heyman speech," made famous in the documentary film, "Beyond The Mat." The Shane Douglas-Pitbull II match is covered, as we also talk about the Pitbull I neck breaking incident, as well as the famous "halo shaking" that made things get very real one night in Philadelphia. John also gives his feelings on the career of Shane Douglas. He also tells me about Rick Rude's time in ECW, including a humorous anecdote involving ring announcer Bob Artese, The Taz vs. Sabu rivalry and matchup is discussed, as I ask John if they had difficulty living up to the hype of their feud, as well as his personal dealings with both men. Bill Alfonso's affect on ECW and its referees, as well as the fans, is also covered. The Three Way Dance between Terry Funk, The Sandman, and Stevie Richards is talked about, as John reminisces about Terry Funk's impact on ECW, Sandman in the ring (sober vs. inebriated,) and a young Stevie Richards and the risks that he took. And finally, we talk about the Terry Funk vs. ECW World Heavyweight Champion Raven main event, John's involvement in the ending, and just how close the PPV came to going off the air.
It's an entertaining and informative listen, as John Finegan pulls no punches, and takes the audience through a tumultuous, but very fun time in the wrestling business, and in ECW.
You can see John at ECWA Super 8 ChickFight on Saturday October 22nd in Woodbury Heights, NJ, and he also appears for World 1 Wrestling on Saturday October 29th in Morganville.
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